Is GPS Better Than Google Maps? It Depends…

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In the past, traveling to a new place implied consulting traditional maps and asking locals how to get there. Else, you just used some guesswork and hoped to arrive at your destination.

Yet, as the market that offers GPS signal receiving devices thrives, the game has dramatically changed.

Based on signals, GPS devices calculate and show the current longitude and latitude. Regardless of their value, they are competing against another tool that is familiar to many of you. It is Google Maps. 

Is GPS better than Google Maps? Today we are finding out the answer.

Is GPS Better Than Google Maps
Driver in the car controls the navigator. Close-up part

GPS: Everything you should know

1. Specifically, what is it?

In Layman’s terms, GPS (aka Global Positioning System) is a satellite-based navigation system. It works to give accurate info about the earth’s object’s position.

Satellites orbiting our earth give off location info depending on where a GPS device’s receiver gets positioned when activated. After that, the data satellites attain become triangulated for an accurate location reading. How the info gets shown has to do with the GPS gadget. As for your smartphone, its hardware already has the receiver integration. 

This game-changing technology first appeared in America in 1994 for military use. Since then, it has become more and more popular. 

To be more specific, within a couple of years (by 2000), it was accessible for the public. Defense purposes aside, GPS succeeded as a navigation tool geared toward business and personal uses. For example, thanks to this tool. ride-hailing services are increasingly mainstream. It also helps with criminal investigations. 

As for GPS’s overall benefits, it offers higher accuracies than even a centimeter. That is why this system is famous as super trustworthy stuff as to navigation.

2. Applications

The GPS use is countless. Business people, shippers, soldiers, scientists, mariners, and then some trust it. Just about anyone is using the tool to improve their errands and jobs’ safety and efficiency. Further, it helps trace criminals and thefts.

Leveraging this system to reach a particular area is another impressive application. For instance, it allows companies to discover the quickest and the least costly route to a destination. With GPS, merchants can deliver satisfying customer support, say logistics, by letting them know when their order will arrive.

What is more? The tool’s most popular application is to check where is your location while you are traveling. Should you be trying to search something out, or should you be lost, it proves to be valuable. Many vehicles and devices these days feature integrated GPS that you can activate with ease.

Google Maps

1. Specifically, what is it?

Technically, it is a program operating on a mobile device. Mentioned as an ‘application’ more often, Google Maps deliver one approach to interpret location data. But it is not the sole use of data from the satellites.

A phone application like Google Maps follows a specific collection of commands subject to your particular interaction with it. In other words, it enables you to track the data for a set purpose.  

2. Applications

This application makes a fantastic option since it is among the most reliable navigation tools out there. Google Maps is free as well. The massive amount of profits gained by Google enables the company to upgrade the software continuously. It attracts more customers as such. For instance, there are trip planners, directions, and routes for those walking or biking, aside from car owners.

Google also makes money from Google Maps functionality. The company sells it as research data to the firms planning to advertise. The reciprocating flow of info is all part of the sophisticated and extensive action Google takes to generate income. 

Speaking of the application users, Google Maps is downloadable on any compatible device. It delivers a decent reference for where you are. The data includes the most current details, say recent changes. It is worth mentioning that the info displayed is consumer-focused.

With its beneficial features, Google Maps has drawn in billions of active users.

Is GPS better than Google Maps?

map pins in city at night

1. Advantages of Google Maps over GPS

The program utilizes the mobile device’s hardware, particularly the GPS hardware – to attain the positioning info. After that, it gets shown on the screen. 

Generally speaking, Google Maps helps provide directional info on where to go. For GPS data, they offer way more. But these may not be the most common use on the Google software. 

Unlike a paper map or something, Google Maps boasts the real-time auto-update ability. That is why you will find out where you are located at any point along the way.

2. Downsides of Google Maps compared to GPS

In comparison to a GPS device, mobile devices are subject to either an adjacent wifi frequency or a cellular signal. If you are away from cell towers, you cannot use the application. Understandably, your mobile device has a hard time updating itself. 

The data receiving process still goes on in the GPS component. Still, there is a good chance that the program gets hindered by not managing to download the most recent map info to show it on the screen. 

As for GPS devices, this issue does not exist. The maps needed are already all set. Hence, they display the data, no matter where cellular towers are. 

But that is not all. GPS-centered services and gadgets reading them are usually much more static. Yet, on the other hand, the data they provide is objective and dedicated to positioning purposes. Meanwhile, speaking of Google Maps, you can notice it is often marketing-driven. While you are sure to see destinations or locational info with this application, it displays plenty of unnecessary info about businesses close by your location. 

You can take that way as how Google gains revenue. The company pushes business info or ads to you folks who use its products for free. Google leverages the ad fees from the firms whose data become shown in the program for the operational costs. 

Also, please bear in mind that Google Maps has its drawback related to the data feed. Assuming your mobile gadget does not get powered up, this software will drain a weak battery fast. 

3. Advantages of GPS over Google Maps

Does any of you think that mobile device will phase out GPS devices? If so, you may not be familiar with how ọthers has used professional GPS. 

Indeed, devices carrying programs such as Google Maps have been super popular. With that being said, GPS technology on its own is still the crucial infrastructure for the way GPS data get to read and become employed. 

Thanks to dedicated GPS devices, it is far simpler to receive positioning data. First things first, they are pretty affordable. Plus, they have no limitations or reliance on current cellular signals. Additionally, their battery life is longer, and their accuracy is much higher than the views offered on your smartphone. 

Altogether, GPS devices become a much more effective navigation tool, particularly during your trip to remote areas.

A comparison table

To answer the question, “is GPS better than Google Maps?”, you may want to refer to the comparison table below.

GPS devicesGoogle Maps
  • A trusted tool in remote locations
  • Accurate
  • Long battery duration
  • Do not depend on the present cell phone signal
  • Affordable and not hard to use
  • Higher-quality displays
  • Maps update itself
  • Portable design
  • Internet connectivity for tracking places
  • Navigation info on the go, no matter what transportation mode
  • You can download offline maps
  • Free
  • Some do not feature built-in maps
  • Sometimes, you need to purchase additional maps
  • The design may not be lightweight
  • Some product units might be useless outside vehicles
  • Some devices require you to update maps manually (and you may have to pay for a few maps updated)
  • The touchscreen interface is not on par with smartphones’
  • Locating may get interrupted when notifications like a call come in
  • Depend on the phone signal and likely provide no accuracy in some regions
  • Low battery efficiency
  • Many unnecessary attributes for some
  • Subject to the device, it is probably more challenging to operate
  • Do not have enough support for offline maps
  • Internet connectivity is a must-have in lots of smartphones for navigation to work
NoteNot every GPS gadget is the same. So, some may not apply in the rundown of upsides and downsides shown above. We made it the most possibly general.

A GPS that takes advantage of Google Maps

1. Why use it?

That is because it provides several advantages, including:

  • World imagery: The combo delivers an in-depth view of locations. Also, it boasts a vast amount of data put away in it.
  • Accurate results: Google Maps program’s mapping results are much more precise than some other locating applications. This Google product is a favorite one by most digital users. A smooth combination with GPS allows for optimal accuracy.

2. The typical examples

Some GPS makes use of Google Maps. Many of them come pre-designed in vehicles, for instance, Mercedes-Benz. The reason is the strong compatibility of Google Maps with standalone GPS.

Pioneer and Garmin are some other GPS tools and applications that leverage Google Maps. Those applications are relatively easy to use, needing only a USB connection or a cell phone network. Take Garmin, a reliable manufacturer of GPS devices, as an example. Here, the Google Maps data seamlessly moves into the GPS gadget.

What is more? Another well-known Android device-based GPS tool, WAZE, avails of the program. Because WAZE is under Google ownership, it is unsurprising that it uses Google Maps, one of the globe’s best navigation applications developed by Google.

Besides, a few handheld GPS devices accessible on Alibaba, Amazon, and other online stores utilize this software. There are also GPS applications using Google Maps. These tend to be available on smartphones, iOS platforms, and Android ones alike. A multitude of users depends on them to navigate to their destinations.

All in all

So, is GPS better than Google Maps? In reality, different situations need different applications and tools. 

Assuming you commute around town and your phone’s screen has a decent size, your good bet should be Google Maps. That is because it will offer every necessary data. Simple access to info provided by this program is a plus in this case.

Meanwhile, are you traveling in remote regions many a time? Or are you a driver in charge of doing international travel or off-road routes? If so, you may want to consider a dedicated GPS gadget. It will run well with no cell phone signal or Internet connection. This type is not useless whatsoever since it provides you with more fantastic support in several specific conditions.

In general, GPS and Google Maps are excellent in their way. You are better off determining first which will suit your needs better. 

  • What are your preferred travel time formats?
  • How does the tool reroute?
  • How effortlessly can you look for a destination?
  • Would you mind tying up your smartphone for the entire trip?
  • And how does the device have a physical attachment to the dashboard?

Have you finished answering these questions? This is when the superior solution comes out. 

What if you want an option that is somewhere in between? If so, you can depend on both of them. Where it is a trusted daily tool to navigate, 

GPS does not always see to it that you will receive the best results. Sometimes, the data you need may get blocked. For instance, with independent GPS applications, there is a possibility that you can access just a few features. That is why you are likely to rely on GPS with Google Maps to solves these concerns.

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